Houston, TX

Rice University

Kathy WeimerThe PTRC at Fondren Library, Rice University has had a busy year full of changes. We have been working on renovating our area since last spring and now have a much larger instruction space for our monthly patent search classes for area inventors. On January 20, we were happy to welcome Kathy Weimer (shown on the left) as the new head of our department which also has a new name, the Kelley Center for Government Information, Data and Geospatial Services. Kathy was previously at the Texas A&M University Libraries.

DisplayIn the areas of publicity and outreach, Siu Min Yu created an eye-catching display of patented plants (shown on the right) found on campus since Rice has an arboretum (www.arboretum.rice.edu) of woody plants dispersed throughout campus. She’s planning to follow up with a display about trees on campus.

Linda Spiro and Siu Min Yu met with the lawyer who heads the new Pro Bono Program at the South Texas College of Law which is a short train ride from Rice. Kevin Jones came to campus and met with us (shown below) and came back on a Saturday to sit in on one of our search classes. Linda then reciprocated and taught classification searching to Kevin’s law school class. Kevin has also offered to teach two one-hour classes at Rice, one on business formation and another on what intellectual property is, how it is used, and why it’s needed. We plan to continue this collaboration.

Linda Spiro and Kevin JonesLinda also served as a judge at a Young Inventors Association contest at an area elementary school. The organization is gearing up and is greatly expanding next year, so there will be even more judging opportunities.

Following Jan Comfort’s lead, we added Rice patents to the Patent section of our Government LibGuide and are in the process of adding patents to our repository. Our metadata experts have done an initial batch download of patents. We are investigating the best way to continue to add patents. The metadata experts are willing to share what they’ve learned, so look for future articles and perhaps a webinar.

Last, but not least, we are looking forward to the USPTO’s visit to Rice on May 19-20, 2015 to offer a one day program to area inventors followed by a second day of training for our staff.